I think my tank in yesterday’s Heroic Pit of Saron let me die on purpose to teach me a lesson. And this tank wasn’t completely in the wrong. If rule number one of DPSing is: Manage Your Threat, I was failing.
Disclaimer: Cassandri is a Shadow Priest. I will do, to the best of my ability, what Shadow Priests do best in any given situation. I should also point out that I will focus fire a few select mobs even if the group is too busy AoEing. Because, well, kill the dangerous one first, hey?
I’ve been queuing Heroic Pit of Saron as “Damage” pretty much every day since Patch 3.3 was released. Like Pugnacious Priest, I’m mad for the Nevermelting Ice Crystal. Mostly I just want to play around and experiment with it.
In all that time I’ve seen the trinket drop once and lost it to a Restoration Druid. I know there’s some debate on whether or not the trinket is good for healers… but come on – it’s perfect for Shadow Priests.
I’ve been queuing as Shadow, even though the queue times are crazy long, because I did once queue as a healer and told the 2 casters in the run:
Hi, I’m here to roll on the Nevermelting Ice Crystal if it drops.
If that’s a problem please say so now.
And I felt pretty bad about it. Potentially that’s 4 members of the party all after one drop (assuming you got grouped with 3 casters). And I don’t think that’s fair. So from then on I queued as Damage. Never expecting that I would end up losing to a healer anyway!
Anyway, back to last night’s run. First off, I was grouped with 3 Paladins (1 Prot, 1 Holy and 1 Ret). And a Rogue. I was thrilled. Who else but me would roll for the trinket in this group?
Then we started clearing the trash to the first boss. Wrathborn Laborers, 2 a time. So I started to do what I always do, and what Shadow Priests excel at: applying DoTs to both.
Now if I wanted to boost my damage to maximum I would do my level best to spread my DPS equally over the two mobs. More time alive = more damage done by DoTs. But I’m not that self-serving.
So I DoTed both and assisted the tank to concentrate my direct damage spells on one target. The first target dies, and we all switch to the second. I guess my threat was already pretty high by then because within a few seconds the mob turns around and glares at me. I hit Fade. It turns right back and I walk away without a scratch.
Rinse and repeat. Almost everything comes in pairs on the way to the first boss in PoS. And by repeat, I mean I needed to Fade a few times when I pulled threat. Usually it’s not too obvious to most of the party because I hit it before the mob has peeled away from the tank to hunt me down.
Then, on the last pull before the first boss, things went haywire. This time when the dragon rider (after the dragon was dead) turned to me, I faded. But I pulled threat again shortly after Fade wore off and all I could do was watch as the vykrul turned and ran at me. I’m pretty sure all I was thinking was “please taunt, please taunt”. The vykrul came right up to me, raised his axe and hit me – just once – before I see the !!! (imagine the taunt animation there) and he turns around to run back to the tank.
I survived that one hit. But it was close.
During the trash to Ick and Krick I ended up tanking a geist mob at one point when Fade was on cooldown. And died. I was actually a little embarrassed. I wasn’t trying to pull threat.
“Sorry I used to talent into reduced threat before 3.3. I miss it.”
It’s true. For the tail end of Trial of the Crusader I had a couple points in Shadow Affinity in the hopes that the reduced threat would let me get away with slightly earlier DPS on the Anub’arak spider adds. Had I become too used to playing with that extra safety net? It’s true, I have been relying on Fade more and more in instances…
After Ick was dead we cleared the mobs up to the gauntlet. I was doing my best to kill those Deathbringers ASAP but I’m not entirely sure what the rest of the group was doing. Fortunately the healer had my back (and I was pretty careful to keep up Power Word: Shield too) because I ate at least five or six Shadow Bolts before I could kill it.
I died again in the gauntlet. I thought I was playing it pretty safe by waiting until we were at the midway point and using Fade right before I started to Mind Sear. The moment it wore off… Cassandri dead.
Nobody else in the group seemed to be having problems pulling threat. I believe the Ret Paladin did pull threat once or twice but they never seemed to die or get hurt from it.
Lying dead on the floor of the gauntlet gave me time to think. That incident right before the first boss, where I took just one mighty hit before a taunt, was that intentional? A warning? Was the tank trying to teach me a lesson?
Hey, next time you pull, I won’t taunt at all.
Definitely explains my geist death. I doubt the guantlet death was intentional, I died so fast.
I don’t blame the tank for his thinking either. It’s the kind of thing I might do if I’m healing and I see someone standing in a fire, or, one of my personal favourites, standing in the ice to loot Mage-Lord Urom’s body during Oculus.
But I wasn’t trying to be difficult. I wasn’t picking some stray target out of the pack and focus firing on it. I wasn’t disregarding a kill order or raid symbols (because none were used). I was DPSing Shadow Priest style – which kind of means damage on all targets all the time. It’s kind of how we work.
Heck even Ghostcrawler kind of gave us some learn-to-play attitude over the matter of dungeon DPSing in our Q&A:
… there is an issue of player skill here too. If your group kills the skull first every time, then maybe you want to DoT the third or fourth mob in the group so that you do have the benefit of time elapsing. DoTs just work differently.
Furthermore I was using Fade as much as I could to keep the mobs right there on the tank. Perhaps I could have stopped DPS when I was getting close to pulling, and I did do that a few times during the run. But I can’t cancel my DoTs. Even when I stop casting direct damage spells there’s not much else I can do.
Fortunately for me, while the tank was trying to teach me a lesson the healer had my back. Thank god for that Holy Pally. Otherwise I think I might have died many more times than the two times that I did.
So to the tank that was trying to teach me a lesson: I know I pulled threat. I know that pulling a mob off you can get me killed. I know that makes me a bad DPS. But I really did try to drop threat when I could and beyond that there’s just not much more I can do.
The next time I’m going to heal though, I’m going to endeavor to be more like the I’ve-got-your-back healer from the party and cut the DPS members some slack. Perhaps the real lesson learned was given by the Holy Paladin, and not the Prot Paladin.
Oh yeah, still no trinket.